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Northamptonshire Analysis
The authority on Northamptonshire statistics

Households Affected by the Benefit Cap

05 May 2017

Yesterday the Department for Work and Pensions released their latest quarterly data (February 2017) on households affected by the benefit cap and key indicators can now be found in the Benefits Cap Dataview in the Economy theme on Northamptonshire Analysis.

On 7th November 2016 amendments were made to the rules relating to the benefit cap and cap levels were lowered with different cap levels introduced for households inside and outside Greater London. Details of the new and old cap values can be found in our metadata (scroll down until you find the section entitled "Benefit Cap Amounts"). The new rules were phased in across local authorities between the introduction date and January 2017, so these statistics for February 2017 (released yesterday) are the first which reveal the full impact of the amended benefit cap rules. It is believed that Daventry and South Northamptonshire were processed early in the schedule and their new figures were visible in the November statistics, so any change comparisons cited below have been calculated using August 2016 as the baseline.

So some key points :
..... The new lower cap levels have increased the number of households in scope.
..... The number of households affected by the benefit cap within Northamptonshire now stands at 647, an increase of 435% since August 2016, somewhat higher than the national increase of 220%.
..... Amongst the county's boroughs and districts the increases in capped households varied between Daventry (up 800% to 54 households) and Wellingborough (up 232% to 73 households).
..... 43.1% of the county's capped households are based in Northampton (although the borough only contains 31% of all the county's domestic properties).
..... The estimated (minimum) number of children in the county living in households affected by the benefit cap now stands at 2230 up 275% from August 2016. This increase is greater than the increase of 159% experienced across England as a whole.
..... The changes to the benefit cap appear to have impacted on single parent families to a greater extent in Northamptonshire than across the country as a whole. In Northamptonshire the proportion of all capped households which are single parent households has risen 9.3%-points to 77.1% with the implementation of the new rules, whereas across England as a whole the increase is 5.2%-points (to 72.7%). According to the February 2017 national report (released yesterday) 79% of single-parent capped households in the UK have at least one child aged under 5 years, including 15% with a child aged under 1 year.
..... Households with 3 dependent children have increased by the highest percentage across the county as a result of the new rules.
..... Again according to the national report, 49% of capped UK households were capped by £50 or less a week at February 2017.

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